THE DARK AGES in probably its establishment on its island in the Lake of Constance to the teaching of a Scot. Under the shelter of these great houses learning was planted in a multitude of lesser societies scattered over the tracks of German colonization; and almost invariably the impulse which led to their formation as schools as well as monasteries, if not their actual foundation, is directly due to the energetic devotion of the Scottish travellers."* In later times these scions of Irish monasticism went still farther afield, reaching through Germany to Poland and Bulgaria. It is a wonderful testimony to the vitality of the movement that so late as the Twelfth Century quite a number of monasteries were established by them in different parts of Europe where the Irish traditions were in large measure maintained. 4. THE BISHOPS' SCHOOLS Fine as was the work done by the Irish teachers in its own way, their schools were too few in number and too distinctive in their genius to do more than exercise an indirect influence in the reconstruction of European education. The real successors of the old Roman schools were not those of the monks, whether Celtic or Roman, but those of the bishops. As early as the Third Century schools for the training of the clergy were conducted by the bishops; but so long as the public schools of grammar and rhetoric existed, the instruction they gave had reference for the most part to theology and to pastoral duties. With the disappear- ance of the public schools, however, it became necessary for the episcopal schools to widen their scope so as to include the elements of a more general education. At first, indeed, this extension of their functions seems to have met with considerable opposition from those who were still prejudiced against the old literary studies and who saw more danger in educating the clergy than in keeping them ignorant. The letter written by Pope Gregory to Bishop Desiderius was probably a protest against one of the earliest attempts to make the bishop's school a school for grammar as well as for theology. Gregory, as we have seen, was indignant because grammar was being taught by the bishop's fraternity to " certain persons " (quibusdam) not specified. If, as seems likely, * R, L. Poole, History of Medieval Thought^ p. 14.